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Legends and Lore of Strawberries:
In provincial France, strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac. Newlyweds were served always served a cold strawberry soup.
The strawberry was a symbol for Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shapes and red color.
Have you every eaten a double strawberry? Legend says that if you break the strawberry in half and share it with a member of the opposite sex, you will soon fall in love with each other.
In parts of Bavaria, people still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and abundance of milk in return.
Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII had a strawberry shaped birthmark on her neck, which some claimed proved she was a witch.
To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.
The strawberry, a member of the rose family, is unique in that it is the only fruit with seeds on the outside rather than the inside. Many medicinal uses were claimed for the wild strawberry, its leaves and root.
Did you know that the American Indians were actually cultivating strawberries in 1643? They crushed the strawberries into a mortar, mixing them with meal to make a strawberry bread.
By the 1800s, commercial strawberries had been cultivated. Strawberries are
the leading small fruit crop in the United States today. They are farmed
from Florida to Alaska, with the largest strawberry-growing centers located
in California, Washington, Oregon, Louisiana, Michigan, and Tennessee.
It is probably of a mouth-watering dessert of strawberries mixed with fresh cream? There’s nothing that says "Hello Summer" quite like eating a juicy vine-ripened strawberry that has been ripened to perfection in the early summer sunshine. Strawberries serve more than just fulfilling the sweet tooth. It is packed with hordes of health benefits, making a nutritious fruit for mind and body.
Naturally the best strawberries are the ones you pick yourself from your local strawberry fields or purchase from your local produce stands and/or Farmers' markets.
In the stores, always choose locally grown strawberries during the harvesting season (they are sweeter and juicier than those that are bred for shipment). Remember, your local strawberry season only lasts 3 to 4 weeks.
When purchasing berries from the grocery store, shop with your nose. Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and fresh green caps (stems). The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Berries should be dry and clean; usually medium to small berries have better eating quality than large ones.
Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. They should have bright red color, natural shine and fresh looking green caps.
Select berries that are in dry; unstained containers (stained containers may indicate over soft berries that are not freshly picked). Mold on berries spreads quickly - Never leave a moldy berry next to a good one.
Strawberries are not only good to eat, they are also "good for us." They are an especially tasty source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid). In fact, one cup of fresh strawberries provides about 88 milligrams of ascorbic acid, which more than meets the Recommended Daily Dietary allowance of 45 milligrams for the average adult. Vitamin C is well retained when the strawberries are handled carefully. Capping, injuring, cutting, or juicing, however, will reduce the vitamin content.
Strawberries are low in calories: one cup of unsweetened strawberries has only 55 calories. So if you are on a reducing diet, use strawberries to add flavor, food value, and pleasure to meals. You can even eat some as a between-meals snack.
One 140 gram serving of eight (8) medium-sized strawberries has:
Freezing Strawberries - How To Freeze Strawberries
When you have more strawberries than you can eat or when strawberries can be obtained at a reasonable cost, freeze them to eat later. For freshly made strawberry 'am at any time of the year, freeze berries and then make the jam at your convenience.
Strawberries are easy to freeze. You can use a dry-sugar or a syrup pack.
The dry-sugar pack is especially easy and gives the best flavor and color
for sliced or crushed berries. For whole frozen berries a syrup pack is
recommended because it produces a plump, well-shaped berry after thawing.
For special sugar-free diets, strawberries can be frozen unsweetened, but
they will not be as high in quality as sugar- or syrup-packed berries.
No matter which type of pack you choose to use, follow these general directions for preparing and packaging strawberries for freezing:
When packaging for freezing:
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